Various artists album review
Reggae Hits Volume 28
Jet Star
07 - 12 - 2000

Tracking list

  1. Mikey Spice - Yes Mi Friend
  2. Freddie McGregor - Gate Pass To Your Heart
  3. Ambelique - New Sheriff in Town
  4. Don Campbell - Rise
  5. Luciano - Legalise It
  6. Junior Kelly - Juvenile
  7. Capleton, Terry Linen, Anthony Malvo & Anthony Redrose - Love Is Coming At You
  8. Tony Curtis - Body Calling
  9. Capleton - Gimmi The Woman
  10. Singing Melody / Ghost - How Could She
  11. Peter Hunnigale - Seven Days
  12. Glen Washington - Saving Myself
  13. Luciano - Blessing
  14. Bushman - What A Gwan
  15. Al Campbell - Think Twice
  16. Lexxus & Wayne Wonder - Thug Love
  17. Beenie Man - Mistake
  18. Sizzla - To The Point
  19. Alpha Rowen - New Teacher
  20. Rasites - High Grade
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4

Just in time for the Christmas season and the closing of the first year in the new millennium Jet Star has unleashed its 28th instalment in their popular "Reggae Hits" series. Packed with mainly excellent tunes dealing with such matters as "life, love and philosophy" and featuring some of the best reggae singers and deejays to be found in the UK and Jamaica, this compilation set is good value for money and definitely the best way to sample recent, present and future chartbusters.
The album opens with Mikey Spice's "Yes Mi Friend" - a truly fine adaption of Bob Marley's "Duppy Conqueror" - showcasing that Spice is really back with a vengeance after being out of the business due to an enforced absence. Freddie McGregor proves a trusted hitmaker as he brings an excellent lovers tune in his well known style over a reworked "Rougher Yet" riddim. Also excellent is "New Sheriff In Town" from Ambelique, who practises his Mexican voice well known to older reggae fans from all those Derrick Harriott produced instrumentals from way back. The riddim behind this tune is a reworking of Winston Francis' Studio One classic "Mr. Fix It" (although one can also go for the old Treasure Isle "Those Guys" riddim), recently utilized by Beres Hammond for his killer "They Gonna Talk". Don Campbell - former member of the Undivided Roots and an extremely talented vocalist - delivers a very entertaining and enjoyable effort with his cover version of Gabrielle's smash hit "Rise", which is underpinned by the "Eye Water" riddim. Luciano contributes two pieces. On his cover version of Peter Tosh's classic herb tune "Legalise It" he fully displays his singing talents, but it's with "Blessing" that the "Messenger" hits harder than hard. Luciano delivers an outstanding effort for producer/artist Robert Ffrench, utilizing a wicked roots riddim strangely entitled "Stud Buster".
Earlier this year Junior Kelly has had huge success with "If Love So Nice", which was followed by some other notable pieces. "Juvenile" is further proof that Junior Kelly is a name to be closely watched. "Love Is Coming At You", actually released as a single in 1999, is an impressive and very entertaining combination tune, which finds Capleton's fulsome growl sweetened by singers Terry Linen, Anthony Malvo and Anthony Redrose. Then two cuts across Big Jeans' "Blue Drawers" riddim, which samples Ben E. King's vintage R&B tune "Spanish Harlem", with fine singer Tony Curtis and "The Prophet" Capleton both delivering a solid effort. Lovers niceness comes from the combination Singing Melody & Ghost, who perform their lyrics over a revitalitized version of Slim Smith's "My Conversation" riddim. With the very entertaining "Seven Days" Peter "Mr. Honeyvibes" Hunnigale contributes a vocally and lyrically excellent piece. The high prolific Glen Washington performs a decent tune in his, by now, well known vocal style, which is reminiscent of Beres Hammond. With the over 5 minutes lasting tune "What A Gwan" over Treasure Chest's "Reflection" riddim, Bushman can be credited for coming up with one of the standout tracks on this compilation set. "Think Twice" performed by veteran crooner Al Campbell, whose career now spans over three decades, is a satisfying effort.
Then the mood changes, first with the infectious combination tune "Thug Love" from Lexxus & Wayne Wonder, incorporating a lyrical part of Donna Summer's dance smash "Love To Love You Baby", and then with Beenie Man's solid dancehall tune "Mistake". Sizzla's "To The Point" is not up to this Bobo Dread's usual high quality standard and thus a rather mediocre effort. This compilation set rounds off with two names to watch closely in the near future. Recorded at Jet Star's Cave Studio and produced by Danny Ray and Fitzroy Blake, Alpha Rowen's "New Teacher" is a truly awesome delivery from a much promising singer. The same goes for The Rasites, whose "High Grade" is an outstanding roots tune, actually an impressive and mature effort from a much promising young band of musicians.

Teacher & Mr. T.